A familiar foe

Former Impact staff will face Montreal with Cincinnati

It’ll be a third game in eight days for the Impact, this Saturday against FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium. After facing off in preseason, this will be the first time the Impact faces the expansion side in MLS. Cincinnati, on its end, has recently undergone some major changes; head coach Alan Koch was relieved of his duties earlier this week, meaning the assistant coach will take over head coaching duties on an interim basis.

That assistant coach is Yoann Damet, the former Impact U18 coach before joining FC Cincinnati last year. At just 29 years old, he’s the youngest coach in MLS. His first task: finding a way to beat his former employer.

Although Impact head coach Rémi Garde didn’t know much about Damet, he’s made sure to familiarize himself with the man at the helm of his opponent on Saturday, speaking to those in the club who had known the French coach well.

“I’ve spoken about him with Wilfried especially,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “It’s always nice to see such a young compatriot at this level. I’ll wish him good luck, but only after the game.”

Former Impact goalkeeper coach Jack Stern will also be on the opposing bench Saturday, having joined FC Cincinnati as its goalkeeper coach before the club made the jump to MLS. If there was any concern that he would divulge all of Evan Bush’s secret weaknesses to his new team, it isn’t something the Montreal ‘keeper is particularly worried about.

“At this point, I’ve played enough games that if people can’t figure those things out, they’re doing something wrong,” joked Bush. “Jack knows me well. Obviously, the general way I play has remained largely the same. But to be fair, a lot of my game has changed in the past 18 months.”

But despite these reunions, the Impact is travelling to Cincinnati with just one thought in mind.

“We’re coming for points, finished Bush. “The reunion stuff can all wait for another day.”